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TODAY'S NEWS

today’s news for Friday, January 15, 2021

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NEWS FROM NASFAA

The Department of Education (ED) on Thursday released the details of how colleges and universities can distribute the more than $21 billion in COVID-19 relief aid recently approved by Congress — and for which purposes those funds can be used. Among the documents released Thursday were institutional allocations, a fact sheet, an FAQ document, and details for the distribution of the second round of Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II) dollars authorized by Congress in the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which was signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020.

 Off the Cuff

This week on “Off The Cuff” the team recaps the resignation of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the department’s effort to curtail President-elect Joe Biden’s pledge to provide student loan debt relief. Megan provides an update on the congressional agenda ahead of Democrats’ majority in Congress. Allie and Justin dig into details on what’s ahead for the debate over debt relief, and Jill provides a brief update on HEERF reporting and expected guidance. Plus, the group wants to know: What was your best purchase last year?

Ahead of his inauguration next week, President-elect Joe Biden pitched his administration’s top legislative priority — a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, including $170 billion directed toward education. Overall, the package puts an emphasis on funding for school reopenings calling for $130 billion to provide K-12 schools with the necessary resources to safely reopen and, if necessary, facilitate remote learning.

NASFAA UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

NASFAA Office Closed Monday for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Federal Holiday

The NASFAA office will be closed on Monday, January 18 for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day federal holiday. NASFAA's Today's News will not be sent, and membership and technical support — as well as response to AskRegs inquiries — will resume when the office reopens on Tuesday, January 19.

AskRegs

Yes. Reference the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's), Fact Sheet - Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) II. This chart outlines the main differences between the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and HEERF II under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA). View the full answer to this question to learn more and search for answers to your other pressing regulatory and compliance questions in NASFAA's AskRegs Knowledgebase.

NASFAA U

Resolve to become more proficient, more knowledgeable, and even more valuable to your institution in 2021. NASFAA U online courses provide live instruction, reading assignments, discussion forums, and assessments to ensure participants develop a true understanding of the material. There are four courses that still have seats available for the 2020-21 season: Federal Pell Grant & IASG (starts February 9), Professional Judgment (starts March 8), Consumer Information (starts April 6), Fundamentals of Enrollment Management (starts May 3), and Fundamentals of Student Financial Aid (starts July 6). Learn more about the class schedules, topics covered, and instructors for each course on our 2020-21 Online Courses page. Courses fill up quickly; register now to reserve your spot!

Please join us in congratulating the following NASFAA members on their job changes and promotions: Mark Bandre of Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas; Adam Colvin, of Ponce Health Sciences University; Brian De Young of Davidson-Davie Community College; Timothy Sampson of Fayetteville Technical Community College; Kimberly Tibbetts of Middlesex Community College; James Kellam of Converse College; and Lindsay Bridgeman, FAAC®, of Grantham University. Head to our Movers and Shakers page for the full details. Celebrate your career developments by completing the "Movers and Shakers" form to share the news with your colleagues. We'll review your submission and then post your update to our Movers and Shakers page for all to see.

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FEDERAL REGISTER

Under the CARES Act's Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), the Department has made over 12,000 awards to institutions of higher education (IHEs) to support emergency financial aid to students and institutional costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus. This form will be used by institutions that have improperly drawn down funds from their award accounts to provide the Department with information regarding funds being returned to correct these improper payments.

The Department of Education is issuing a notice inviting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2021 for the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA) Program, Assistance Listing Numbers 84.021A and 84.021B. This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1840-0792.

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